State Health Aetna Members Must Switch but CWA Negotiated Strong Options – What You Need to Know

State Health Aetna Members Must Switch but CWA Negotiated Strong Options 

Starting in January 2020, Aetna will NO longer provide plans through the NJ State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) medical plan for active employees and early retirees.   SHBP recently rebid the medical contract for active members and early retirees; Horizon’s price and presentation were deemed superior — they will be the sole carrier for SHBP active employees and early retirees. Aetna will continue to provide the Medicare Advantage and Dental Expense plans.

This means that anyone in an Aetna PPO (Freedom), HMO, tiered network (Liberty), or high deductible plan will need to switch to a Horizon plan during the October open enrollment.

The plan design (coverage, copays, deductibles) for the Aetna options is identical to the plan design for the Horizon equivalent.  However, there can be significant differences in networks particularly in certain geographic areas and for Tier One of the Tiered network plans (Aetna Liberty; Horizon Omnia.)

Current  Aetna members living out-of-state should understand that while Horizon directly contracts with a limited number of out-of-state providers they will have access to the robust networks of local Blue Cross affiliates like Independence Blue Cross in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Empire Blue Cross in New York through the Blue Card program.

 

Aetna Members in PPO (Freedom) Plans

Since the Horizon and Aetna PPO (Freedom, Freedom 10, 15, 15/25, etc) plans have a huge overlap of providers, most Aetna PPO members will see little change in switching to the Horizon equivalent plan.  For instance, all acute care hospitals in New Jersey, NYC, and Philly are in-network with Horizon.  However, there are some medical practices and specialty providers (mental health, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc) that are not in the Horizon network.

To find out whether your regular provider is in the Horizon network check the Horizon website and contact your provider to confirm as insurance company lists of participating providers are often out of date.

Aetna HMO Members

Members in the Aetna HMO should seriously consider switching to the CWA Unity PPO plan for the following reasons:

  • It is likely that your Aetna Primary Care Provider (PCP) will not be a Horizon PCP,
  • The Horizon HMO is geographically limited to New Jersey and surrounding Pennsylvania and New York counties,
  • You will have an out-of-network option you do not have now,
  • You will now be able to join a Direct Primary Care practice (R-Health and Paladina) and never pay anything for primary care,
  • It will cost less.  The CWA Unity PPO/NJ Direct plan for CWA, AFSCME, and IFPTE members includes significant savings in payroll health contribution deductions ranging from $330 to over $1500 a year depending on income and coverage type.

 

Aetna Tiered Network (Liberty) Members

Aetna Liberty members should carefully review the Horizon Omnia (tiered network plan) tier one providers as going to tier two providers, even though they are considered in-network, is expensive.

There are some areas like Middlesex where Horizon has a strong tier one provider network but others such as Mercer and Burlington where there are gaps.  Check the Horizon list of tier one providers and confirm this with your regular professional providers.

 

Union Action

Without our union, Steve Sweeney would have forced a high deductible plan on us all.  The Direct Primary Care initiative (no copays), lower healthcare contributions (payroll deductions,)  the $1000 bonus for joining the Omnia tiered network for a year, and the new zero copay for mail order generic drugs for active members (effective November 1) are the result when we join together in union.

For a printer-friendly version click here.

Education & Equity Committee Meeting 9/24/19 Join us!

CWA Local 1033 Education & Equity Committee Meeting will be held on September 24, 2019 at 5:00 PM at the local headquarters, 321 West State Street Trenton, NJ. Join us!

We remember our brother, Gerry Horgan CWA Local 1103 Chief Steward.

Today we remember our brother, CWA LOCAL 1103 Chief Steward Gerry Horgan. Gerry, remembered as “natural born leader” and “the epitome of what a union representative should be,” was killed on this day 30 years ago while on the picket line, fighting alongside his CWA brothers and sisters for healthcare benefits in the 1989 strike against NYNEX.

If you’ve ever asked yourself why we wear red on Thursdays, it started for Gerry – at his funeral a line of CWAers wearing red stretched for a mile along the route to the church, and members began wearing red on Thursdays to honor and remember Gerry, a tradition that has spread throughout the country and continued to this day. #CWASTRONG #IfItsThursdayWeWearRed

General Membership Meeting 9/26

Join us at or CWA Local 1033 General Membership Meeting on September 26, 2019 at the Patriots Theater at the Trenton War Memorial.  Dinner will be served, meeting starts at 4:30PM

CWA Local 1033 Annual BBQ – Aug. 25, 2019

 

CWA LOCAL 1033 MEMBERS ANNUAL BBQ

JOIN YOUR UNION BROTHERS AND SISTERS FOR A FUN FILLED DAY

Black Bear Lake Picnics & Events
457 Stage Coach RoadMillstone Township, NJ 08510
Sunday, August 25, 2019
1:00PM – 6:00PM


  • 3 Heated Sized Olympic Pools
  • Double Swirling Slides
  • Bear Slide for Younger Guests
  • Full Lifeguard Supervision (Towels Provided Poolside for Guests)
  • Giant Lake Waterpark
  • Paddle Boats on 5 Acre Private Lake
  • Tiki Beach with Lounge Chairs
  • Sports Fields & Courts with all equipment provided including – Basketball, Tennis, Beach Volleyball, Kickball, Horseshoes & more!
  • Outdoor Laser Tag 
  • 24’ Rock Climbing Wall 
  • Pirate Playland 
  • Digital Photo Service
  • M5 Bungee Trampoline 
  • DJ & Team Games 
  • Face Painting 
  • Caricaturist Artist 
  • Air Brush Tattoos
  • Strolling Magician 
  • PLENTY OF GREAT FOOD 
  • BEAUTIFUL GROUNDS 
  • AND MORE!

TICKETS:

Local 1033 Members / Retirees – $10.00

Guests (4 Maximum):
     (Age 13 and Over) – $20.00
     Children 5 through 12 – $15.00
     Children 4 and under – Free


Members must have valid ID to pick up their tickets between 8:30am – 5:00pm now through August 19th at:

CWA Local 1033 Headquarters,
321 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618

The office will remain open until 6:00 PM on Friday, August 16th & Monday, August 19th
**MEMBERS MUST PICK UP THEIR OWN TICKETS**  Absolutely NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AFTER Monday, August 19th or at the DOOR the DAY of the Event.  You MUST have YOUR ticket to enter.

Questions? Call the office at 609-394-7725


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MEMBERSHIP MEETING (1)


 

General Membership Meeting 7/25

Join us at our CWA Local 1033 General Membership Meeting on July 25, 2019 at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton.  Meeting starts at 4:30 PM Dinner will be served.

STATEMENT FROM CWA ON GOVERNOR’S ANNOUNCEMENT

Earlier this year, CWA engaged in a process that will save the state more than $1 billion a year in health care costs without lowering the cost of care or simply forcing workers to pay more. We bargained these savings with the Governor where we could, and we worked with him to identify savings in other areas where we are not able to bargain them.

Following that, Governor Murphy made a very reasonable budget proposal: The $1 billion in savings would be met with $500 million in new revenue, and New Jersey’s unlimited corporate welfare programs would be reformed. It was a proposal that valued fairness and fiscal responsibility, and one that would put New Jersey on a path to fiscal health.

Our members responded with enthusiastic support. CWA members made over 12,000 calls to members of the New Jersey legislature to support the Governor’s budget, including a millionaire’s tax. Members met with legislators all over the state to talk about how a decade of tax cuts for the wealthy have impacted their families and the services they provide. And thousands showed up at the State House demanding a millionaire’s tax.

We are disappointed that the legislature would not support this plan. They were more than willing to accept the health care savings we achieved, but they were not willing to ask the super wealthy, who have been showered with tax cuts for a decade, to pay a tiny bit more. And following months of news of corruption and self-dealing in New Jersey’s corporate incentive programs, they shockingly voted to just extend those programs.

We welcome and support Governor Murphy’s decision to not shut state government down. And while we are disappointed the legislature is not joining the Governor, we enthusiastically look forward to joining him in his commitment to restoring balance and fairness to the New Jersey budget.

Finally, we could not be more proud of our members. Despite a decade of cuts in staffing levels that have left departments depleted, despite unending and vile attacks from the Senate President, our members continue to provide exceptional services for the people of New Jersey. They work around the clock and in all conditions in every corner of our state. We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with them to continue to make New Jersey a great place to live.

NO STATE WORKER SHUTDOWN!

The Governor has announced that there will NOT be a Shut Down of State Services.

He will make a formal announcement and provide information on the budget resolution on Sunday and we will send out a notice of those details when we have it.

A Statement from CWA will go out and be on our website shortly.

Thank you for your amazing work and solidarity during this budget season.

Our members were incredible, making over 12,000 phone calls and turning out thousands of members to legislative meetings and to rallies.

We are so proud.

In Solidarity,

John Rose, President Local 1031
Patrick Kavanagh, President Local 1032
Gaye Palmer, President Local 1033
Adam Liebtag, President Local 1036
Ken McNamara, President Local 1037
Shawn Ludwig, President Local 1038
Carolyn Wade, President Local 1040
Hetty Rosenstein, NJ Area Director
Dennis Trainor, District 1 Vice President

CWA NJ SHUTDOWN DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES

UPDATE 6/27/19: NO STATE WORKER SHUT DOWN!  The Governor has announced that there will NOT be a Shut Down of State Services. Click here for more info.


The legislature passed a budget that is not sound and may result in a state shutdown!  Click here for more information.

If there is a shutdown and we are locked out, you must follow the instructions given to your CWA Shop Steward.   All members who are locked out must report to one of the Shutdown Locations during the lockout. Please speak with your shop steward for instructions.

To receive up to the minute information, please sign up for text messages by texting the word NJBUDGET to 69866.  Msg & Data Rates May Apply, See Terms & Conditions.

WANT TO HELP STOP THE LOCKOUT?! – call 855-620-8460.  The number will ask you to put in your zip code to be connected to your legislators. We are asking our members to make the call THREE times to speak to both of their state assembly members and their state senator. Tell them to negotiate a budget with a millionaire’s tax, and stop supporting a corrupt Economic Development Authority (EDA) program that is costing our state billions!


SHUTDOWN LOCATION SIGNUP

If State is Shutdown report to these locations at 10:00 AM – 12 Noon

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP ONLINE

MATERIALS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD:

Make the Call to your Legislators leaflet 10,000 calls (*new* – negotiate a budget with a millionaire’s tax, and stop supporting a corrupt EDA program that is costing our state billions) Click here to download.

SHOP STEWARD DOCUMENTS:

CWA NJ Shop Steward Master List Shut Down Location Sign Up Sheet Click here to download.

Why the Budget Bill passed by the Legislature is Dangerous for Public Workers, Services, and New Jersey (one-page overview) Click here to download.

Why the Budget Bill Padded by the Legislature is Dangerous for Public Workers, Services, and New Jersey (two-page Shop Steward document)   Click here to download.

Economic Development Authority (EDA) Corporate Tax Incentive Programs – What is happening with NJ’s corporate tax incentive programs? (Shop Steward resource) Click here to download.

FY20 Budget Overview & EDA Reform – Why the Legislature’s actions are dangerous for public workers, services, and NJ (Shop Steward Resource) Click here to download.

TEXT NJBUDGET to 69866

TEXT NJBUDGET to 69866

Receive alert texts about the state budget and shutdown.  Periodic msgs.  Reply STOP to quit, HELP for info.  Msg & Data Rates May Apply, See Terms & Conditions.